PLAINS TWP. — A Hazle Township man faces charges after he allegedly stole a man’s cellphone using his walking stick at Mohegan Sun Pocono casino earlier this year.
Thomas Kolensky, 74, is alleged to have stolen a man’s cellphone after it had fallen underneath a slot machine.
According to a state police affidavit:
Kolensky was seated behind a man playing the slot machines Feb. 26. Kolensky observed that the man’s phone fell underneath the machine. He took his walking stick and slid it over to himself and placed it in his pocket.
When the victim returned to search for his phone, he could not find it.
Kolensky told troopers he never saw the cellphone. He proceeded to tell them that he walks around the casino picking up change and uses his walking stick to pick the change up.
Kolensky showed officers he uses gum at the bottom of the stick to pick up the change.
Kolensky emptied his pockets in front of troopers showing that he had an older flip phone in his possession.
“I wouldn’t even know how to use a big screen phone because I’m 74 years old,” Kolensky said.
Troopers then checked surveillance footage with Mohegan Sun security.
When the surveillance video showed the victim walk away, Kolensky was poking his stick underneath the machine. The footage shows Kolensky appear to put an object in his pocket and then walk to a coffee shop with his wife to meet another couple.
When the troopers tried to interview Kolensky again, they could not find him or his wife because they left.
On Feb. 26, troopers met Kolensky and his wife again at the aforementioned coffee shop. He insisted he never took the phone.
Troopers interviewed Kolensky’s wife and she asked them if they checked the lost and found.
She said she was worried sick about the missing phone and went back to the casino at 4 a.m. and happened to find the phone in question in the women’s restroom.
Kolensky’s wife said she then turned the phone in to the casino as found property.
Troopers went to lost and found and took possession of the iPhone 8+.
Kolensky’s story then changed. He stated he found a nickel and waited for the victim to leave. When he left, he also noticed the phone, took it and walked away. He then met his wife and handed her the phone.
His wife said she feared for her and her husband that night and that’s why she turned in the phone at 4 a.m. as found property.
The Kolenskys related to troopers they were both very sorry and “they don’t do things like this.”
Kolensky was charged with theft by unlawful taking of movable property.
He was arraigned Tuesday morning and released on $2,500 unsecured bail.
Kolensky’s preliminary hearing is set for July 24 in Luzerne County Central Court.